May 23 2014
This post is part of our Torah commentary series. This Shabbat we read Parashat B’Midbar. To read a summary of the portion and learn more, click here.
The Torah portion this week is B’midbar, which literally means “in the desert.”
For my Torah MOMentary, I would like to draw on Rashi‘s commentary on this portion for inspiration. Rashi is an acronym for Rabbi Shlomo Itzchaki, one of the most famous rabbis of Judaism who lived during the 11th and 12th centuries. Read the rest of this entry →
May 21 2014
Tova Ross’ post last week titled “Why Do So Many Moms Regret Having Kids?” really upset me. I respect her as a writer and mother and mean no disrespect to her in any way. She wrote about the recent internet “trend” (I hate to call it that; it’s more of a consequence of the internet existing as a place to share dark things anonymously I suppose) of women posting their regrets about having children. I believe that Tova meant well with her post, and she declared that she wasn’t sure what her point was, except to say that she felt sorry for women who have these regrets and even sorrier for their children. Ouch.
Tova acknowledged that she has sympathy for women who long for their single days, or long for time alone, but she recommends that if those thoughts are not “fleeting” then there may be something very wrong. Double ouch.
I read some of the comments posted in response to Tova’s piece on Kveller, and I was relieved to see women posting that they have regrets that are not fleeting, but that they don’t feel they are bad mothers because of it. I fear that a divorced woman such as myself has little right to share my thoughts on this topic, since if I express regrets, the reader might simply say, “Oh, well, her life didn’t turn out like she wanted, so of course she has regrets.” Read the rest of this entry →
May 19 2014
I got an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Boston University this weekend. BU is the alma mater of Nina Tassler, one of my bosses at CBS, and it was a great honor to not only receive the degree, but I also gave the convocation address at the School of Fine Arts. The School of Fine Arts includes graduates with degrees in music, theater, and the visual arts.
My Macca-friend and his wife drove up from New York to be with me for the weekend, and I had my first ever totally Shabbat-observant hotel experience. This involved the front desk letting us into our rooms rather than us using electronic card keys, taking the stairs rather than the elevator everywhere we went (including a Graduate Women In Science and Engineering luncheon which was on the ninth floor of a campus building), and making kiddush and HaMotzi (the blessing for bread) in our hotel rooms.
It was a very fun weekend and it was also very emotional. Speaking for the graduate women in science and engineering was a particularly interesting part of the weekend, with me sharing my experience about gender bias and misogyny in academia and them nodding along in agreement, to the astonishment of some of the older professors who couldn’t believe that kind of stuff still goes on! Read the rest of this entry →
May 15 2014
I get asked to blurb a lot of books. That is, people send me drafts of their books and ask me to give a comment to endorse and publicize the book. Mostly, I am asked to give quotes for books on attachment parenting. Sometimes I am asked to endorse books with Jewish themes or even cookbooks, now that I’ve written one.
I was recently asked to give a blurb for a book that it is a memoir of one parent’s experience in attachment parenting. It is written in concise and witty chapters which kept me really engaged and interested in this particular parent’s experience. The author is not afraid to take on the big hitters of the “conventional” styles of parenting which so many of us do not ascribe to with sound evidence, experience, and suggestions for navigating similar waters. It is simultaneously unapologetic, self-deprecating where appropriate, super funny, and incredibly thoughtful.
What sets it apart from the many books about parenting out there is that it’s written by a dad. Read the rest of this entry →
May 8 2014
So I met the President last week.
As I see it, there are three kinds of people in this world: people who like the President and want to know what meeting him was like, people who dislike the President and want to know what meeting him was like, and people who dislike the President and therefore don’t want to know what meeting him was like.
It’s the third type of person that actually made it possible for me to get to meet him, since I attended a reception basically thanking people who helped the President’s Affordable Care Act enroll 8 million people in health care programs who previously had none–especially those of us who got flack from our fans for doing so. So third type of person: I get you, I get it, and thanks! Read the rest of this entry →
May 6 2014
I am not one to follow trends. I dress however I want (when not in front of a camera), I don’t shave my legs (never have), I don’t watch TV or read any magazines to know what’s “hip” fashion-wise. I’m not trendy at all.
But there is a trend going on now in these here parts that I am partaking in (do trends even “go on”? I’m so not a trendy person, I don’t even know what to call it!).
I am juicing. Yup. Juicing. Mind you, I’m vegan, but I don’t always eat as healthy and clean as I want to. You can be vegan and still eat a lot of unhealthy processed foods. From time to time, ever since I had my second son, I have done a few days of raw eating here and there, and I’ve found it works wonders for resetting my digestive system and helping my palette reset so that I don’t crave salty and chocolate all the blessed minutes of every blessed day. Read the rest of this entry →
Apr 30 2014
My sons are 5.5 and 8. As I have discussed on Kveller before, I don’t watch TV and my sons had not seen TV until their dad showed them some Sesame Street-type stuff a few years ago on his iPad. I had–and still have–no interest in watching TV with my kids. I don’t have time to deal with the fights children have with parents about wanting to watch more, or a particular show, or buying the toys that the advertising industry jams down our kids’ throats–basically, I want nothing to do with it.
Now that I am divorced, I have to accept in new ways that my son’s father may do things in his house which I don’t do in my house and that’s got to be okay. He shows them TV. They don’t watch a lot, and we discuss what they watch, but I simply don’t show them any TV. I don’t have cable, so my TV is for watching movies and that’s all.
My boys have seen a few movies on their dad’s TV, and they have been very simple classic movies. I’ve watched a few at their dad’s house with them. We recently all went on a divorced family field trip to take our boys to their first in-theater experience, “The LEGO Movie,” which was awesome. (Here’s my post about it!) Read the rest of this entry →
Apr 23 2014
The eight days of Passover are over as of last night. Here are the highlights of my days of Chol Ha’Moed (the intermediate days) and the final religious days of the holiday.
1. Heartburn. Never had it in my life. Apparently, it happens to a lot of people from matzah. So I’m a vegan. And I don’t eat kitniyot during Passover (beans, corn, rice, etc). And I basically was unable to eat matzah for the final four days. Try and think of what I could eat. Not a lot. It was lots of fruit, spinach with Russian dressing, nuts, and dates. And some BBQ potato chips. And the last of the corn syrup-free Passover Coke. Mama was hungry. And pretty grumpy.
2. Universal Studios. Read the rest of this entry →
Apr 17 2014
I feel like I can’t even put two sentences together. Passover has me worked. I’m tired of cooking, I’m tired of not being able to eat out (I know, I am spoiled, I know!) My stomach already hurts from matzah. That set in literally 24 hours into the holiday. Okay: I’m done kvetching. I just had to put that out there.
And, oh, here’s my lunch from the set of “The Big Bang Theory” the other day.
Mmmmmm. Matzah. Read the rest of this entry →
Apr 14 2014
Well, folks. Passover is upon us. The cooking is done. All that’s left for me to do after work today is assemble the eggplant-tomato casserole at my ex’s and to help him set the table. And to hang on tight as I head into eight days of not eating out, not eating grains, not eating beans or corn or anything with those ingredients, and eight days of feeling a part of a tradition stretching back thousands of years.
Tonight at sundown we begin the celebration of the freedom that should be a human right: to be allowed to eat where and how and when you want, to not be a slave to someone else’s desires or needs, to not forget what it means to be imprisoned simply because you are not enslaved today.
For many Jews, Passover is a beloved holiday. The proscriptions for observance are centered in the home. The Seders involve singing and discussion and this communal meal that echoes ancient order. And as much as many of us complain about matzah making our tummies hurt, there is a familiarity to this holiday of complaining and kvetching about the Bread of Affliction that I cannot distance myself from. Read the rest of this entry →